UniFi AP vs UniFi AP LR – Wireless Signal Strength Comparison

UniFi AP vs. UniFi AP LR – Wireless Signal Strength Comparison

Below is the image of the UniFi AP signal strength that was shown in last week’s DIY. It was shown to demonstrate the signal strength of the UniFi AP in comparison to the Verizon FIOS Actiontec router signal. As you can see, the wireless signal strength is quite strong in comparison to my neighbors. Please remember that this test was performed in a townhouse where wireless network signals currently run rampant and in a concentrated radius.

UniFi AP

(25 ft away from access point)

TCF Wireless Network Signal

UniFi AP LR

(25 ft away from access point)

UniFi AP LR

Preliminary tests only show that the UniFi AP LR has about the same wireless signal strength when compared to the UniFi AP.  (At 25 ft from the access point) I will be doing some more in depth testing with both units as I would like to see if the UniFi AP LR can actually live up to its claim of 600 ft of wireless range. Please check back for updates within the week.

Update: For those considering the UniFi AP or the UniFi AP LR, keep in mind that the LR, which is the long range version, is powered by a more powerful antenna. This more powerful antenna comes at a price…more noise. The UniFi AP is very quiet, almost inaudible. The UniFi AP LR however makes a very low clicking sound as data is being transmitted over the wireless network. The sound is similar to that of a hard drive writing data. This may not be a great nuisance in a busy office but for home use you may want to use the UniFi AP if the access point is going to be placed in a frequently used area.

Update: After spending the weekend with the UniFi AP LR, I have come to a few conclusions about both access points. First, both access points are excellent. Not only do they increase the wireless range of the FIOS router, they both outperform any stock wireless router that you can buy in a store. For the average household that is simply looking to build a solid wireless network that covers their entire home, including the outdoors to some extent, the UniFi AP will be sufficient. It houses 2 powerful antennas that can deliver a strong wireless signal in a 400′ radius.

The main difference between the UniFi AP and the UniFi AP LR is the range of the wireless signal. Both access points can handle more than 100 clients simultaneously and both have the capability to run up to four different SSID’s. However, the UniFi AP LR can deliver a wireless signal in a 600′ radius.

Over this past weekend I ran various tests between both access points and came to a conclusion…you can’t go wrong with either access point. In my 2,000 square foot town home both UniFi access points were able to provide ample signal strength to even the most remote part of the house…and both allowed me to walk to my mailbox and still have plenty of signal to update my Facebook status. The UniFi AP LR did show a stronger signal at the mailbox than the UniFi AP, but I did not notice any difference in internet speed at this distance between the two.

Which access point would I recommend?

This depends on the setup of your home and personal preference. If distance is a major concern, definitely go for the UniFi AP LR since it will provide the largest radius of wireless signal. However, do take into consideration that there is a slight clicking sound that is emitted from the UniFi AP LR as data is being transmitted. In my own town home, it was very easy to run CAT 6 Ethernet wire to the center of the second story ceiling. However, running Ethernet wire to the center of the first floor ceiling is nearly impossible without calling up an electrician to snake Ethernet wire through the floors. Because of this I chose to keep the UniFi AP LR installed since it did provide me with a slightly stronger wireless signal outdoors. The location of the access point allows for minimal disturbance due to the data transmission sounds the access point emits.

Important: Placement of the Access Points

At some point in our lives, we have all been to a house where the router was installed in the most remote location. This setup provides numerous dead zones where obtaining a wireless signal is nearly impossible. The ideal placement of the access points would be the center of the ceiling in each floor of a home. A two story home with a finished basement would have 3 access points installed. This would allow the access points to evenly distribute the wireless signal across the entire floor of the home. One access point would serve as the main access point and the 2nd and 3rd access point would be set up as wireless signal repeaters.

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Tags: unif,ap,lr,signal,comparison,access point,strength

Copyright 2013 The Cyber Fusion

11 Comments

  1. It is true. The UniFi AP is much quieter than the UniFi AP LR. However, if you can…install the UniFi AP LR as your main access point in an area that is not going to need a great deal of absolute silence. Then install the regular UniFi AP as repeaters to carry the signal across long lengths.

  2. I’m trying to using the unifi Lr at my own house. For some reason over 60Ft the signal is over. I set the TX signal to high. Is there any settings which I can do to improve the signal?

    • The actual range you will get depends on many factors. May I ask, does the signal have to travel through numerous walls? If so, what type of walls are they? (Regular drywall or something more substantial like concrete black or stone? ) Also, keep in mind the placement of the access point and position also is important. Ideally, you want to mount the access point in the ceiling with the light facing down…preferably on the top floor in the center of the home. This allows the signal to radiate down and possibly cover the entire home.

  3. The UAP-LR Makes a clicking sound? I’ve never noticed! We have a 3 installed at my church. one of them takes a really heavy daily beating with devices connected to it and I’ve never heard a peep out of it when it was installed temporairly in our IT room. we’ve since moved it up to the ceiling in the rafters. those along with an EdgeRouter that is setup properly, you will have a ridiculously reliable network. ours runs 5 different VLANS one for our guest network, staff network, phones, and security cameras. and holy crap for a less than $200 router, it does a damn good job! I would recommend it any day over Cisco products for most business’s needs!

    • True…now they no longer make the clicking sound. Ubiquiti sent out a firmware upgrade last year that took care of the noise…they are sooooo quiet now. : ) Glad they worked out well for you!

  4. Does unifi AP LR really have a range of 600 Ft?

    Does a single unifi Al LR can provide the wireless range to a big multispeciality hospital?

    • The 600ft radius is based on an open area. A hospital isn’t the best environment for a wireless network since you will run into a great deal of interference from other electronic devices. More than likely you will need at least one access point per floor and ideally you would mount them on the ceiling. This would allow the signal to radiate properly throughout each floor. Expect each access point to project the signal radius about 100ft in a hospital setting.

  5. Im thinking to buy one ubiquiti ap but im not sure i already have a mikrotik router but need more coverage do you recommend me ubiquiti ap or a wifi range extender like tp-link or some other brand?

    thank you.

    • If you are looking to extend the range of your WiFi, I would recommend spending the time and energy to run a hard wire (CAT 6 Ethernet wire) from your router to an access point where you would like WiFi to exist. (You can use a cheap TP Link Access Point or spend for your home, which is good for a few devices, or bump it up to a Unifi AP LR for more connections)

      Any repeater is going to slow down your whole wireless network since it has to relay the information from the extender to the nearest access point. In my experience, an extender gets about half of the download speed than a hard wired access point. Don’t ask about the upload speed… : (

  6. Do you recommend Powerline adapter + Unifi AP LR? Running a hard wire could be tough for me but if Powerline adapter works then that would be great!

    • Personally I would use a wireless bridge (media bridge) before using a powerline adapter. In my own experience, powerline adapters are extremely slow and often require a restart every so often. I save them as last resort networking tools…when nothing else will work, I will use a powerline adapter. Understand however that your connection speed will be limited to that of the wireless bridge and you will also need to set up the wireless bridge prior to attaching your Unifi AP LR.

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